Saturday, March 21, 2009
A stop in Bloomington, Ill didn't prove to be too enjoyable. Our second tow of the trip! This time it was a U-joint on the drive shaft that corroded out allowing the drive shaft to drop to the ground while pulling into a Farm and Fleet driveway. There we sat until the tow came. It wasn't very amusing, however our RV was able to "spread the word" while we sat waiting to be towed from partially blocking traffic both on the road and in the drive. While in San Antonio we added verbage to our RV to add to our evangelizing efforts. Here is what our RV reads on it's sides...
God Answers Knee Mail Matt 6:24
Jesus is Cool, Hell is Not John 3:16
Get a Life John 3:16
The New Age is an Old Lie- Matt 24
Evolution is Science Fiction
Fight TRUTH Decay
All for His glory! The RV was fixed in under two hours and we were back on the road again. We stayed the night south of Milwaulkee and the next day we were home.
Home Again, Home Again..Jiggity Jig Jig...as my mother would often say as we'd pull into our driveway at Monroe St.
The adjustment has been just as much as it was going into the RV. We miss the road already, but have had a wonderful time sharing our trip and reconnecting with family and friends.
We are, for the first time EVER, looking forward to next winter, when..God willing...we will hit the road once again!
We stopped in Hope, AR, home town of Bill Clinton, on Friday night. It was the third evening of rain--just pouring. We stayed at the Hope Fair Ground RV Park and found out after checking in there was going to be a rodeo that evening. With very few options for entertainment, and no possibilty of an evening walk on a clear AR night--we bought tickets to the rodeo. It was hosted by the FFA and the participants were all kids. I was just amazed that 9-15 year old kids were riding a bucking bronco. Michaela leaned into me shortly after the third kid got whipped off a bull and whispered, "Would you ever let your kid do that?" I said, "NO WAY!". This was taking country to the next level--not Wisconsin style, that's for sure!
Nick stayed back at the RV with Zeke, as it was too chilly and damp for him to be out and he already seemed to be congested (later found out it was teething). I ran back to the RV to switch places with Nick as I really felt he'd enjoy the show. He stayed till the end. At a break time in the rodeo competition, the announcer called all kids down into the ring for a competition. Not even knowing what they were running to, Grace decided she was in. Turns out it was a pig scramble. They let a bunch of little piglets out to be caught and even though Grace didn't have a shot, it was quite a scene. Kids dove at these piglets like it was the pigskin of a football-literally covering them in a full tackle and then bringing it up by the hindlegs to show off the catch. It was very entertaining!
The pics posted on the blog last is just the funniest story of a man we met at the park who could just not get that silly duck to stop following him. It was absolutely hilarious.
San Antonio was just gorgeous. We stayed there for a week enjoying the 85 degree weather and pool. We had a wonderful evening down at the river walk downtown when we took the kids to Rainforest Cafe to celebrate our trip coming to an end. The rest of our travels was going to be a very quick shoot up the highway back north to WI.
The first day of the week we spent in San Antonio we were relaxing by the pool when a visitor showed up. A gentleman who had been at the park longer than us excused himself from our conversation to get her a drink. We were immediately taken by her gentle attractivenss, but tried not to stare.
Later on that evening she decided to give us a visit at our RV site and from that time on, she never left. All that evening she remained guest outside our RV, quietly sitting outside our door, "protecting us". Nick and I were amazed at her loyalty after such a short friendship and especially since we hadn't taken our relationship to the next level as she had us.
The park referred to her as Freckles and Pebbles. We called her Dot, and after the third day of Dot's unrelenting friendship, crying and pleading children trying to keep her from the pound, and endless recommendations for her to become family, Dot was adopted into our family.
San Antonio has over 1,000 stray dogs roaming the city of which many become abused while others simply perish in the heat of unrelenting Texan sun and no water. One man in the RV park, of whom we did not know gave us $200 for taking her in--thrilled the pound would be able to be called back and told not to come. After that offering people, whom we did not know, began stopping by our site and giving us dog leashes, soap, treats, money and even human food. We were just stunned. I guess everyone at the park took a liking to her and was just thrilled someone had adopted her. (Turns out most of the longer term residnets have adopted 1,2, or 3 dogs themselves.) Dot, was special though--everyone really loved her and by the time we had left, we had received over $500 in donations to care for Dot. The amazing part of the story is that is the exact amount it cost us to be in San Antonio that week--starting from our drive from Lubbock, to the RV park cost, gas, grocery, and dog care! The Lord is amazing. What tickles our hearts was knowing that while we were praying for Dot to find a home (other than ours) so that our girls hearts would not be broken upon our departure, they (Particuarily Grace) was praying for their parents hearts to be softened,"turned to mush", as Grace later confessed to us. The prayer of a child is powerful indeed.
Dot has turned out to be a lovely new addition and has been great at potty training and has already learned the commands of sit and lie down.
Another sweet thing was that just a week prior while Grace was co-piloting she asked Nick how it is that one can cry tears of happiness. Nick tried to explain it was simply the overwhelming emotion of joy that makes it happen. Grace still a bit confused, accepted that response for the time being. At the moment Grace found out we were going to allow Dot a place in our family, she began to cry tears of happiness. Nick tipped up her chin and said, "Hey, what's all this about?" She responded, "I am crying cause I am so happy." It was a tummy tickling, heart warming moment I will never forget. God is good.
Monday, March 9, 2009
After spending a night in Lubbock, TX we are now headed to San Antonio for our last most southern stop and then it is time to begin to head it home. We decided we wanted to sing today and we found a nursing home and rehabilitation center to entertain. This time is was a large facility, though we still had a small crowd (between 7-12 people). It was a nice praise session—probably one of the better times we’ve had, but I think that was because we added more of our testimony, scripture and prayer. There was applause after each song, but what really made this experience a blessing for us was a young lady named Theresa. Theresa had introduced herself to me before we began our singing and then at the end-she called us over. She said she felt she needed to tell us something and what came next was both a blessing, yet saddening. Theresa was at the facility for rehab, although I don’t know how much she will ever be able to do. She explained to us that she had made some terrible decisions and as a result had ended up paralyzed from the ribs down, yet was grateful at the second chance at life that God had given her. High on drugs and alcohol, Theresa took over the wheel and proceeded to drive at speeds near 100 miles per hour. The tilt on the steering wheel came unsecured and caused Theresa to loose complete control of the wheel. After dodging an oncoming car and a sign, Theresa rolled the car and remembers little from that point on. With near tears in their eyes, the kids listened to her sad story as Theresa begged the girls never to use drugs or drink. She went on to explain how she had also lost her 10 year old daughter who she looks forward to seeing again. After sharing her story she said she’d pray for us and then asked me to lead in a prayer once again. And, once again, despite the situation, we can look at our life and everything we’ve been through and been saved from and thank the Lord with all our heart. I think about all those who struggle with drugs and alcohol and pray for an awakening….a miracle for God to save them in a way less tragic than Theresa. I know her story has touched my family and hopefully many more, but I pray that more people can come to know Jesus with less tragedy and more self sacrifice.
A time is upon us where the enemy waits to take homes, lives and souls. As people lose jobs, allow marriages to fail, and drift into darkness, there he awaits his prey—an easy catch. We see crime increasing, along with the rate of suicides, substance abuse as well and abortion. I know not to look to look to the media for answers, or place my hope in politicians, whose hands are stained in blood money, rather know that my help comes from the Lord. He is the only one who can make situations whole and until He comes to reclaim us, it is a war…daily. And a war not of principalities, or kingdoms, but of spirituality. We must take every thought captive and if necessary analyze it to see who we are for.
I am happy to pronounce that my life belongs to Jesus. He is my Lord…the Lord of my life. I put my worries on him and know that He looks out for my best interest. How can my Father’s love be anything less than perfect? I have praised Him in high times and praised Him in the storm. I will continue to put my trust in Him and work for His glory.
I know my treasure is not here. My mansion is being built in heaven. No one can keep me from the kingdom, except for myself. There is no being who can cast me to one place or another. No lack of confession, no scare of not partaking in weekly Eucharist, no condemnation from worldly people-NO! For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of a sound mind, power and of love. I fear no evil for God is with me. Those who walk in darkness fear him they walk with and give in to the pressure of the unknown. Each day has enough worry of it own to worry on the future, yet money gets lost on gambling, drugs and alcohol burying the regrets of the past and the fears of tomorrow. Anger and hostility rot the body and corrupt the soul. I have been, in the past way to worried about things I could never possibly control. I have been, in the past, way to angry and hostile about situations that did and may not ever be what I desire them to be. I have been, in the past, way to concerned about the happenings of others, despite the fact it was nothing for me to have input on nor repeat to others.
What fun is it being a Christian? Isn’t so much work the things you have to give up? That is what I have been asked and have heard being questioned.
It is a blast being Christian. Letting others touch and bless your life, sowing and not always wanting to reap and giving—so much that it tickles your heart. What have I given up? The worries of yesterday, today and tomorrow as well as EVERYTHING I mentioned above. I don’t miss it one bit. I don’t miss fake friends, lies and gossip, conceited individuals, self fish and greedy people always looking to get a step ahead not caring who they step on. I call is drama…90210 Drama.
Today I had the joy of life made simple with Christ--enjoying a blessing by blessing others, a beautiful day at the park with my family and the beautiful day in the 80’s in Texas. Oh, and a funny story of a man who befriended a duck at the park and could not get the duck to leave him be. He literally had this duck following him—quaking the whole way. It was the cutest, funniest thing ever. (Pics attached.) I love being able to enjoy every aspect of life in a whole new manner.
Thank you Lord for saving my life! My reward is to come and has been given here as well. Thank you for the blessing of Theresa and the many others who you have sent on our path. Thank you for this trip and my family. You are a mighty and loving God.
Please continue to reach those who inquire about you and who don’t know you at all. They come in many packages. Help us to help and love others the way you have loved us.
Through Jesus Name...
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
And this is White Sands National Park! It was cool...literally and poor Hanny got a bit of a burn on her cheeks! If you can see sight, it is a recommend! Also, one of the pics is the girls rendition of the Sand Canyons--cute huh? Hannah thought of that! I guess she gets humorous when she begins on delirious--setting in from the heat! My girls are so darn cute! We told Hannah she is quite the comedian and she shrugged her shoulders and said in a very matter-of-fact way, "I know, it's what I do!" That's my girl!